April Beauty Favorites

April has flown by, which is a shame because it is such a lovely month. The weather is gorgeous: warm and breezy without being overpowering. In a way, that’s also my makeup philosophy for spring. I want my face to feel light, fresh, and colorful without being too loud. Here are my favorite beauty products that help me achieve that April freshness.


1. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner Plus Keratin : You know how luxurious and shiny your hair feels when you leave the salon? This product absolutely extends that feeling. After I shower, I pop my hair into a Turbie-Twist and go about my business for a bit. Then before I bed down for the night or leave the house for the day, I spray the Miracle Leave-In product lightly over my hair and brush it through. After three weeks of doing this, my hair is healthier, shiner, and softer. And it smells lovely. My boyfriend has even commented on how nice my hair smells. Can’t beat that. This little 4 oz. bottle can retail upwards from $18.99 depending on where you buy it, but I’d say this product is worth it.

2. Voluminous Power Volume 24H Mascara: According to its description, this mascara is infused with collagen. The goal there being fuller, plumper looking lashes. I’m not a scientist, but goal achieved. It’s also just fine for sensitive eyes. I use the color Black Smoke and love how full my lashes look. The volume is definitely there too. Maybe not the most natural look out there, but I favor this mascara for nights out. For $7.95, I’ll take it over false lashes every time.


3. Clinique Quick Corrector in Light: THEY NO LONGER MAKE THIS PRODUCT. Talk about trauma. People are selling this for over $25.00 on eBay when it originally retailed for around $15. I have been hoarding this little tube in my drawer for a while now. And, yes, I know makeup can expire. But the Quick Corrector still gets the job done. I use it more now for highlighting than for straight concealing. The creamy consistency and full coverage are perfection. The light tone is also an ideal brightner. If anyone has found a dupe for this one, please let me know!

4.Wet N Wild Take on the Day Eye Shadow Primer: This little nugget is part of Fergie’s Center Stage collection and is titled For My Primas. I know there are some lovely eye primers from brands like Urban Decay (I have a sample pot next to my bathroom sink), but for those budget conscious beauties, this Wet N Wild primer is an ideal substitute. It has a light color that creates a lovely base for shimmer and matte shades alike. A tiny dot covers my lid and I don’t see creased color in the mirror hours later. It’s a must have for $4.99.


5. Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Apple Pink: I’ve already raved about this product in my ipsy bag review, but I have been using this lip balm several times a week since the bag arrived. The color is exactly the shade of pink that I love. It’s more of a lush peony shade than apple. The little lip brush adds a precision element to application and the matte formula also moisturizes your lips. Some mattes look cakey, but this one just settles on to look natural. Grab yours for $19.00 here.

6. NYX’s Eyebrow Push-Up Bra: Go ahead, take a second to giggle at the name. I certainly did when I saw it in stores last month. The brown half of the pencil is a universally flattering shade to fill in your brows, and the pink side highlights underneath your brow and inner eye corners. My Mom once told me that one day I would care about the illusion of fuller brows, and that day has come. This pencil is easy to use with instant results. It fills in my brows and looks utterly natural, and the highlighter portion gives the brows a natural lift. For $10.00, it’s a must for a fresh face.


These are my ultimate faves for creating a fresh look this April, but they’re great products that will carry me through other seasons as well. Hope you enjoyed my April Beauty Favorites!

$20 and Under: My Top 5 Spring Beauty Buys

My Top 5 Beauty Buys for Spring 2014

My Top 5 Beauty Buys for Spring 2014

Little known fact about me: I’m a makeup addict. More specifically, I’m a drugstore makeup addict. Not that the big name brands aren’t fabulous (big fan on Clinique) but when you’re a student, rewarding yourself with some lipstick or nail polish that’s less than $10 is much more justifiable. When I was working on my B.A. in Ohio, I used small makeup purchases as rewards for good grades. Whatever motivates you, I suppose.

So instead of being secretive about my makeup habit, I’ve decided to share what my favorite beauty buys are for spring. I won’t pretend to be some kind of expert on application or trend predicting, but this is what has drawn me in this season.

1. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup 

My skin is super sensitive and rather pale, so finding a foundation that is gentle enough but that also matches my skin tone can be tricky. Most foundations clog up my pores, but Neutrogena is always a safe bet for me. The healthy skin line has antioxidants and 20 spf, plus it blends well. When I take my makeup off at night, my skin feels soft and clean. I use the shade classic ivory, and it retails for $12.49.

2. L’Oreal’s Extraordinaire by Colour Riche 

When I was at this year’s Sundance, they had a L’Oreal vending machine that gave you a free lip gloss every time you tweeted about the product. That was some kind of wonderful. I tweeted a lot. I came home from that trip with about seven shades of this stuff, and they’re all amazing. The gloss is silken and very pigmented, which translates to a stain when the gloss gradually wears off. The swatch below is of the color Blushing Harmony 103 and retails for $9.99.

3. Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner

It’s a mouthful of a title for one little liner, but I adore this product. Personally, I prefer cream based liners over pencils or liquids. They tend to apply smooth and are more subtle. A liquid or pencil is a bold statement on the eye and I prefer for my actual eye shadow to be the statement piece. I have three on these particular eyeliners, but for spring I think the nude shade will be more on trend. Apply it on your waterline to have the same effect as a white liner–wider, whiter looking eyes. The nude color is also great for a natural look. I also swatched the silver and deep blue liners so you could see the nude color better. Each eyeliner retails for $4.49.

Product swatches for Neutrogena, L'Oreal, and Rimmel.

Product swatches for Neutrogena, L’Oreal, and Rimmel.

4. Wet N Wild Color Icon Bronzer

I’ve always been intimidated by bronzer. My past adventures with the stuff have yielded an Oompa Loompa look that is just not cute on anyone. But I took a chance with this Wet N Wild brand in Reserve Your Cabana, and I’m glad I gave it a shot. This powder bronzer is well suited for fairer skin and leaves nothing but a healthy glow behind.  It comes in two other colors (Ticket to Brazil and Bikini Contest), so all skin tones can get their glow on before summer begins. Sorry I don’t have a swatch for this, but it’s rather subtle. Retails for $3.99.

5. Julep Nail Color

Julep is a fun website/product for those that love nail color. You can become a Julep Maven and get a customized box of nail color or product for $20 a month, but what is great about this system is that you don’t have to fully commit to buying every box. If the colors of the month don’t move you, you can pass on the box and save your money. My favorite find lately has been the creme finish Libby, which is a delightful teal shade. It’s a vibrant shade that will still go perfectly with your Easter dress. Fun tidbit: Julep names all of its nail polishes after women. Retail is $14.00 or $11.20 for a Maven.

So those are my favorite beauty buys for under $20 each. The Julep nail color is the only one you won’t find in a drugstore, but I couldn’t resist adding it. If my favorites are anything to go off of, I think glowing natural tones with pops of vibrant color is going to be “in” for spring.

What do you think will be “in” for spring at your beauty counter?